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Chevrolet News:The Order Books Close On Chevrolet SS

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With the clock winding down on production of the Holden Commodore, Chevrolet dealers are snapping the remaining lot of SS models being exported to the U.S. Wheels has learned from Chevrolet that the extra 1,000 SS models Holden was planning to build for the U.S. market have been snapped up.

“All US dealer orders are in for the allocated production of the 2017 Chevrolet SS. This includes any additional units that were confirmed for production last year,” said Chevrolet.

Originally, Holden was planning on building 2,000 SS for the U.S. However, the large demand by dealers for the last SS models caused Holden to add an additional 1,000 models for export.

Source: Wheels


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RIP :metal: You will be missed SS. You were a Modern day Beast that so many did not really understand.

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1 hour ago, dfelt said:

RIP :metal: You will be missed SS. You were a Modern day Beast that so many did not really understand.

All it was missing was a modern body instead of a hand me down. Otherwise, one bad ass ride!

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Sad to see it go.  It had actually grown on me.  Would love to see GM eventually see GM offer another hi-po sedan, though that doesn't seem like anything that will happen in near future :(  .

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1 hour ago, Stew said:

Sad to see it go.  It had actually grown on me.  Would love to see GM eventually see GM offer another hi-po sedan, though that doesn't seem like anything that will happen in near future :(  .

Hopefully replaced by a HI-PO CUV / SUV! :metal: 

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I do not know if this is true, but there is nothing that says that GM cannot bring the SS back in a year or two.  Ideally there will be a new-bodied SS and a SS-based Cadillac CT8 along with it for all to see and buy sometime soon.

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43 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

I do not know if this is true, but there is nothing that says that GM cannot bring the SS back in a year or two.  Ideally there will be a new-bodied SS and a SS-based Cadillac CT8 along with it for all to see and buy sometime soon.

Shuuuuuu, Do not mix chevy and cadillac in the same post, otherwise SMK will go off on how this is further proof that Cadillac is not a true luxury brand, just rebadge this and that.

:duck:

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14 hours ago, dfelt said:

Hopefully replaced by a HI-PO CUV / SUV! :metal: 

Traverse SS?   OK maybe if they used the 3.6 TT and a performance tuned AWD suspension I might be intrigued.

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1 hour ago, Stew said:

Traverse SS?   OK maybe if they used the 3.6 TT and a performance tuned AWD suspension I might be intrigued.

Why not, they did it for the Trailblazer SS AWD that I love and has never let me down.

Would love to see an Acadia or Terrain Typhoon Edition AWD using the TTV6. :metal: 

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3 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Why not, they did it for the Trailblazer SS AWD that I love and has never let me down.

Would love to see an Acadia or Terrain Typhoon Edition AWD using the TTV6. :metal: 

YES!  A new Typhoon would be awesome!  Speaking of that, can't imagine it would be too hard to make a Canyon into a modern Cyclone.   Better yet, give the Canyon the ZR2 treatment and put the TT V6 in it and watch me sell a nut and a kidney to get one :)  OK, traveled a little off topic. 

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I've been thinking a bit and sorry if I don't make 3 separate post's but here we go.

On the Holden/Chevy SS issue I was thinking more like the out going CTS as a replacement. It's going to leave the Cadillac fold and GM has used other models in this manner. We talked about this before in that Cadillac options and features would trickle down to the remaining divisions. In this case the entire car with the benefit of a new skin possibly add some harshness to the tune and utilize the car for a 3to4 more years. After all it is a low volume nich.

On the sale of Opel will Chevrolet be the feeder for Holden here shortly or will Holden be thrust into more of a r&d center? GM could reverse the decision and throw them a bone of one model to build and develope with Ozland the test market it could be like the Chevy SS as a intermittent model of three year runs since GM likes to be so conservative with NA releases. I think the Aussie's have always gave GM more bang for the buck unlike Opel with massive losses dating back to my knowledge at least to the 70's.

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      “With less weight and less wind resistance, we improved the driving dynamics without sacrificing fuel efficiency,” said Asoklis. “The next-gen Silverado is a bigger truck, but the chassis feels more responsive and acceleration is more pronounced. I would argue it’s the best-driving truck we have ever built.”
      The 2019 Silverado is larger than before, including a wheelbase that is up to 3.9 inches (100mm) longer, yet overall length is only 1.6 inches (41mm) longer, enabling both more cargo volume and more interior room for all cab lengths. Remarkably, it’s also lighter, weighing up to 450 pounds (204 kg) less than the current Silverado when comparing crew cab V-8 models, due to extensive use of mixed materials and advanced manufacturing.
      To improve the aerodynamic efficiency of the next-gen Silverado, the front grille features functional air curtains, similar to those introduced on the sixth-generation Camaro, that reduce wind drag by routing air around the front wheel wells. The powerful side profile also enhances aerodynamics, with an integrated spoiler at the rear edge of the cab that directs air onto the contoured tailgate, reducing wind drag from the bed. Most models also feature active aero shutters integrated in the front grille that close to reduce wind drag and open to provide improved engine cooling when needed. Changes like these result in a 7 percent increase in total aerodynamic efficiency.
      From the family of the Most Dependable, Longest Lasting full-size pickups on the road*
      For the new Silverado, Chevy set the lofty goal of improving on the legacy of the Most Dependable, Longest Lasting full-size pickups on the road. To do so, the next-gen truck will be subjected to more than 475,000 validation tests and accumulate a staggering seven million miles of real-world testing before the first 2019 Silverado 1500 is delivered to customers.
      That includes a battery of tests for the Silverado engines and transmissions that will simulate a range of customer needs:
      Each type of engine was first subjected to a “torture test” in a dynamometer test cell, running for months nonstop to simulate a lifetime of maximum hot and cold cycles. Each Silverado variant is certified to the SAE J2807 standard for towing and payload capacity. Certification requires a full battery of grueling tests such as the Davis Dam test, in which the truck must carry its maximum gross combined vehicle weight up a 7 percent grade in 110-degrees F (43 degrees C) heat, with no reduction in performance, including air-conditioning. Chevrolet engineers prove every Silverado engine and transmission design for lubrication capability on tilt stands, originally developed for Corvette, that tilt at an angle of up to 53 degrees and can simulate angles at a rate of up to 40 degrees a second — the equivalent of up to 1.4g. Production plans
      Silverado production commences with crew-cab V-8 models starting in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, production will expand to include regular- and double-cab models, as well as V-6 and 2.7L Turbo engines. The new Duramax 3.0L inline-six turbo diesel will be available in early 2019.
      EPA fuel economy estimates and towing/payload capacities are not yet available, and will be announced closer to launch.
      2019 CHEVROLET SILVERADO PROPULSION LINEUP
       
      4.3L V-6
      w/AFM (6-spd.) 2.7L I-4 Turbo w/AFM (8-spd.)  
      5.3L V-8 w/AFM (6-spd.)
      5.3L V-8 w/DFM (8-spd.)
      3.0L I-6 Turbo-Diesel  (10-spd.)
      6.2L V-8 w/DFM (10-spd.)
      Work Truck (WT)
      Std.
      --
      Avail.
      --
      --
      --
      Custom
      Std.
      --
      Avail.
      --
      --
      --
      Custom Trail Boss
      Std.
      --
      Avail.
      --
      --
      --
      LT
      --
      Std.
      --
      Avail.
      Avail.
      --
      RST
      --
      Std.
      --
      Avail.
      Avail.
      --
      LT Trail Boss
      --
      --
      --
      Std.
      --
      --
      LTZ
      --
      --
      --
      Std.
      Avail.
      Avail.
      High Country
      --
      --
      --
      Std.
      Avail.
      Avail.
      * Dependability based on longevity: 1987-July 2017 full-size pickup registrations.
      ALL-NEW 2.7L TURBO ENHANCES VERSATILITY OF THE 2019 SILVERADO
      Technological powerhouse delivers performance and efficiency DETROIT — The all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 will be offered with an all-new, technologically advanced 2.7L Turbo that expands the range of available engines and builds upon additional choices to help customers find the Silverado that perfectly suits their needs.
      Standard on LT and RST trims, the new engine delivers an SAE-certified 310 horsepower and 348 lb-ft of torque, for 22 percent more torque than the 4.3L V-6 it replaces. Developed specifically for truck applications, the new 2.7L Turbo inline four-cylinder engine delivers peak torque from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm.
      The next-gen Silverado with the 2.7L Turbo delivers 0-60 mph performance in less than seven seconds and weighs 380 pounds less than the current Silverado with the 4.3L V-6. Compared with competitive full-size trucks, the Silverado 2.7L Turbo is expected to deliver comparable payload capability with greater torque than the 3.3L V-6 in the Ford F-150 XLT and the 3.6L V-6 in the Ram 1500 Big Horn.
      “The new 2.7L Turbo is a technological marvel, with our most advanced valvetrain,” said Tom Sutter, chief engineer for the 2.7L Turbo. “With a broad, flat torque curve and quick throttle response, it punches above its weight, delivering surprising performance and efficiency.”
      The cornerstone of the 2.7L Turbo is an innovative double overhead cam valvetrain that enables:
      Chevrolet’s first use of Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) on a four-cylinder engine. High- and low-lift valve profiles. Continuously variable valve timing. Additional engine technologies supporting the engine’s performance and efficiency include:
      Dual-volute turbocharger housing for improved throttle response and low-speed torque. Chevrolet’s first application of Active Thermal Management, which uses targeted engine heating and cooling to improve engine performance in hot and cold ambient temperatures. An integrated exhaust manifold that is part of the cylinder head assembly and recovers exhaust heat for faster engine and transmission warmup, with quicker turbo response. Stop/start technology that automatically stops the engine in stop-and-go traffic for fuel efficiency. An electric water pump that eliminates the drag of a conventional, engine-driven pump to enhance efficiency. It also enables continual cabin heating even when the engine is disabled by the stop/start feature. Designed as a truck engine
      The new 2.7L Turbo engine represents a clean-sheet design for Chevrolet and was developed from the outset as a truck engine.
      To help generate the strong low-end torque customers expect in a truck, it was designed with a long piston stroke of 4.01 inches (102mm), which is the distance the piston travels up and down within the cylinder.
      The long stroke enables improved combustion and thus a higher compression ratio. Typically, a long stroke can increase the load of the pistons against the cylinder walls, generating more friction. That’s alleviated in the 2.7L Turbo with an offset crankshaft. It is slightly off-center of the cylinders, allowing a more upright position for the connecting rods during their movement.
      To support the high cylinder pressures that come with turbocharging, the crankshaft and connecting rods are made of forged steel and the pistons are made of a tough aluminum alloy with a cast iron ring groove insert.
      All elements of the 2.7L Turbo were designed for the demands of turbocharged performance in a truck environment, and the engine was subjected to the same rigorous durability standards as the Silverado’s proven V-8 engines.
      The 2.7L Turbo features an aluminum block and cylinder head for reduced mass.
      Unique valvetrain offers more precise control
      The 2.7L Turbo’s valvetrain is GM’s first to incorporate variable lift, duration and Active Fuel Management to optimize performance and efficiency across the rpm band. It is a key reason the engine’s peak torque is available at only 1,500 rpm.
      The system’s electro-mechanical variable camshaft effectively allows the engine to operate with three different camshaft profiles, complementing the variable valve timing system to deliver optimized operating modes for different engine speeds and loads:  
      High valve lift for full power. Low valve lift for balance of power and efficiency. Active Fuel Management shuts down two of the cylinders in light load conditions to further conserve fuel. “It’s like having different engines for low- and high-rpm performance,” said Sutter. “The camshaft profile and valve timing is completely different at low and high speeds, for excellent performance across the board.”
      The camshaft design alters the lift of the intake and exhaust valves. As the engine load changes, electromagnetic actuators allow a movable shaft containing different cam lobes to shift imperceptibly between high-lift and low-lift profiles.
      Lift is the distance the valve travels from its seat when opened, and duration is the amount of time the valve remains open. Higher lift and longer duration allow more air to flow into the combustion chamber, so the system’s high-lift lobe profile enhances performance at higher rpm, while the low-lift profile optimizes efficiency at low- and mid-range speeds.
      Dual-volute turbocharger builds torque
      The 2.7L Turbo engine employs an advanced dual-volute turbocharger that elevates the performance and efficiency advantages of a conventional turbo, with quicker response and enhanced low-rpm torque production.
      Rather than a single spiral chamber (volute) feeding exhaust gas from the exhaust manifold to drive the turbine on the turbocharger, the dual volute design has a pair of separate chambers with two exhaust gas inlets and two nozzles to drive the turbine. The design allows the exhaust pulses of the engine to be leveraged for faster spool-up and subsequent boost production, particularly at low rpm, where the effect significantly enhances torque output and drivability.
      It works in unison with the engine’s integrated exhaust manifold/turbocharger housing, which splits the exhaust channels from the cylinder head so the exhaust flows through two separate channels in the turbo housing, based on the engine’s exhaust pulses. When complemented by the precision of the engine’s valvetrain, that separation leverages exhaust scavenging techniques to optimize gas flow, which decreases exhaust gas temperatures, improves turbine efficiency and reduces turbo lag.
      An electronically controlled wastegate and charge-air cooling system support the turbocharger and enhance its effectiveness. Compared to a conventional wastegate, the electronically controlled version offers more precise management of the engine’s boost pressure for smoother, more consistent performance.
      With the charge-air cooler, the pressurized, heated air generated by the turbocharger is pumped through a heat exchanger before it enters the engine. That lowers the air charge temperature by about 130 degrees F (74 C), packing the combustion chambers with cooler, denser air that enhances power production. The system achieves more than 80 percent cooling efficiency with less than 2 psi (12 kPa) flow restriction at peak power, contributing to the engine’s available torque production at low rpm.
      Additional features
      A variable-pressure oiling system with a continuously variable-displacement vane oil pump enhances efficiency by optimizing oil pressure as a function of engine speed and load. With it, the oil supply is matched to the engine requirements rather than the excessive supply of a conventional, fixed-displacement oil pump.
      Active Thermal Management helps the engine warm up faster and achieve its optimal engine temperature for performance and efficiency. The system uses a rotary valve system to distribute coolant through the engine in a targeted manner. It sends heat where it’s needed to warm up the engine to reduce friction and heat the cab, or cools when needed for high power operation.
      An electric water pump — a first for Chevy trucks — supports the Active Thermal Management system and further enhances the engine’s performance and efficiency by eliminating the parasitic drag that comes with a conventional engine-driven water pump.
      Direct fuel injection is used to optimize efficiency and performance. With direct injection, a higher compression ratio (10.0:1) is possible because of a cooling effect as the injected fuel vaporizes in the combustion chamber, reducing the charge temperature and improving resistance to spark knock. Direct injection also enables gas scavenging from the combustion chamber to the turbo for fast response.
      Dual overhead camshafts contribute to the 2.7L Turbo’s smoothness and high output, with dual independent continuously variable valve timing working with the valvetrain to deliver optimal performance and efficiency. The dual independent system, which allows the intake and exhaust valves to be phased at different rates, promotes linear delivery of torque with near-peak levels over a broad rpm range, and high specific output (horsepower per liter of displacement) without sacrificing overall engine response or driveability.
      An integrated exhaust manifold on the cylinder head assembly promotes faster engine warmup and quicker turbo response.
      Oil jets located in the block are employed for performance and temperature control. They target the underside of the pistons and the surrounding cylinder walls with an extra layer of cooling, friction-reducing oil. The jets reduce piston temperature, allowing the engine to produce more power and enhance long-term durability.
      Stop/start enhances fuel economy in city driving. The driver-selectable system shuts off the engine at stoplights and certain other stop-and-go situations, saving fuel. The engine automatically restarts when the driver takes their foot off the brake.
      The all-new 2.7L Turbo is matched with a Hydra-Matic eight-speed automatic transmission featuring enhancements designed to improve shift quality, as well as a new centrifugal pendulum absorber torque converter that reduces vibrations to improve smoothness.
      The all-new 2.7L Turbo will be built at the General Motors Spring Hill facility in Tennessee.
      The 2019 Silverado goes on sale this fall. EPA fuel economy estimates and towing/payload capacities are not yet available and will be announced closer to launch.
    • By William Maley
      Last week, Ford halted production of their F-Series pickup after a fire ravaged a supplier's plant in Southwestern Michigan. While Ford and supplier Meridan said everything was ok, analysts said it the shutdown could hurt Ford if it lasted more than a week. Last night, Ford announced that it would restart production of the F-150 at their Dearborn plant on Friday. Production at Kansas City and Louisville will come back online on Monday.
      Getting to this point took a lot of work for both Ford and Meridan. According to Automotive News, Ford was the first automaker on site after the fire and was able to retrieve all of the tooling over a 48-hour period. One of dies used was shipped to Meridan's plant in Nottingham, UK. To get it there was a bit of a challenge since it weighs 87,000 pounds. Ford was able to charter an Antonov cargo plane (one of just 21 planes in the world that handle this task) and get it shipped to the UK in just 30 hours.
      Faced with unexpected adversity, the Ford team, including our global supply partners, showed unbelievable resiliency, turning a devastating event into a shining example of teamwork. Thanks to their heroic efforts, we are resuming production of some of our most important vehicles ahead of our original targets," said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's executive vice president of product development and purchasing in a statement.
      Ford declined to say how much production was lost during the shutdown. James Albertine, an analyst with Consumer Edge Research said the week before that Ford could lose up to 15,000 trucks due per week due to the shutdown.
      The company is planning to make up for some of the lost production by shortening the summer shutdown at the Dearborn and Kansas City plants.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Ford


      Ford Restarting F-150, Super Duty Production Ahead Of Schedule After Fire At Magnesium Parts Supplier
      Ford is resuming production of the F-150 pickup at Dearborn Truck Plant on Friday. Ford team has also successfully repaired the supply chain for Super Duty; production targeted to restart by Monday for Super Duty at Kentucky Truck Plant and F-150 at Kansas City Assembly Plant Ford marshaled a global team of experts, that included partners and suppliers, following a May 2 fire at Meridian Magnesium Products in Eaton Rapids, Mich., to quickly refurbish and relocate tooling needed to produce parts for the Ford F-150, Super Duty and five other vehicles – Ford Expedition, Explorer, Flex and Lincoln Navigator and MKT Because of this quick action, Meridian is producing truck parts again at its Eaton Rapids facility. Plus, Ford airlifted tooling to a Meridian facility in the U.K. to produce parts for F-150, which will further speed production ramp-up Ford Expedition, Explorer, Flex and Lincoln Navigator and MKT production continue uninterrupted Company reaffirms 2018 adjusted EPS guidance range of $1.45 to $1.70; expects adverse impact of $0.12 to $0.14 per share in second quarter due to lost production DEARBORN, Mich., May 16, 2018 – Ford Motor Company is restarting production of the popular F-150 at Dearborn Truck Plant Friday after just over one week of downtime. The company has also successfully repaired the supply chain for Super Duty, with production targeted to restart by Monday at the Kentucky Truck Plant as well as the Kansas City Assembly Plant that also makes F-150 pickups.
      This follows the massive May 2 fire at the Meridian Magnesium Products facility in Eaton Rapids, Mich.
      “While the situation remains extremely dynamic, our teams are focused on returning our plants to full production as fast as possible,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, Global Operations. “The ramp-up time to full production is improving every day.”
      Ford teams, together with suppliers including Walbridge and other contractors, worked nearly around the clock to get America’s best-selling vehicle franchise back on line as quickly as possible.
      The teams removed 19 dies from Meridian’s badly damaged facility, and in one case, moved an 87,000-pound die from Eaton Rapids, Mich., to Nottingham, U.K., via an Antonov cargo plane – one of the largest in the world – in just 30 hours door-to-door. A die is a tool used to cut or shape material using a press.
      “Faced with unexpected adversity, the Ford team, including our global supply partners, showed unbelievable resiliency, turning a devastating event into a shining example of teamwork,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s executive vice president of Product Development and Purchasing. “Thanks to their heroic efforts, we are resuming production of some of our most important vehicles ahead of our original targets.”
      Work started immediately in the aftermath of the May 2 fire. Teams removed and remediated safety concerns – including dangling siding – and restored electricity, gaining approval to access the site while debris still smoldered inside.
      This allowed Ford and Meridian to safely retrieve and relocate tools to more quickly resume part production and work to minimize the financial impact of the stalled plants.
      Ford recovered, repaired and validated most dies that were at the Eaton Rapids facility, and Meridian is now producing parts for the F-150 at two locations – Eaton Rapids and Nottingham, U.K. Production of bolsters for Super Duty is also restarting at the Eaton Rapids plant.
      Under normal circumstances, moving tooling the size of a bolster die would take approximately 10 days just to get the proper import and export approvals. However, Ford and its suppliers managed to cut the total time for the entire move to 30 hours, including trans-Atlantic flight time.
      When the team removed the die from the Eaton Rapids factory, it was shipped to Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio. Rickenbacker had both the capacity to handle such a large piece of equipment and allowed an Antonov An-124 Russian plane, one of the largest planes in the world – typically used to transport trains, dump trucks and even a 25-foot sea yacht – to take off as soon as the equipment was loaded.
      Nearly 4,000 miles away, a team in Nottingham was waiting to receive the die and take it to Meridian’s nearby factory. In between, the Ford team received a U.K. import license for the die – a mere two hours before the plane touched down.
      Parts produced at Nottingham are being shipped via daily flights on a Boeing 747 jet until production in Eaton Rapids returns to pre-fire levels.
      Inventories of Ford’s best-selling F-Series pickups and other vehicles remain strong and customers won’t have a problem finding the model they want.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Last week, Ford halted production of their F-Series pickup after a fire ravaged a supplier's plant in Southwestern Michigan. While Ford and supplier Meridan said everything was ok, analysts said it the shutdown could hurt Ford if it lasted more than a week. Last night, Ford announced that it would restart production of the F-150 at their Dearborn plant on Friday. Production at Kansas City and Louisville will come back online on Monday.
      Getting to this point took a lot of work for both Ford and Meridan. According to Automotive News, Ford was the first automaker on site after the fire and was able to retrieve all of the tooling over a 48-hour period. One of dies used was shipped to Meridan's plant in Nottingham, UK. To get it there was a bit of a challenge since it weighs 87,000 pounds. Ford was able to charter an Antonov cargo plane (one of just 21 planes in the world that handle this task) and get it shipped to the UK in just 30 hours.
      Faced with unexpected adversity, the Ford team, including our global supply partners, showed unbelievable resiliency, turning a devastating event into a shining example of teamwork. Thanks to their heroic efforts, we are resuming production of some of our most important vehicles ahead of our original targets," said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's executive vice president of product development and purchasing in a statement.
      Ford declined to say how much production was lost during the shutdown. James Albertine, an analyst with Consumer Edge Research said the week before that Ford could lose up to 15,000 trucks due per week due to the shutdown.
      The company is planning to make up for some of the lost production by shortening the summer shutdown at the Dearborn and Kansas City plants.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Ford


      Ford Restarting F-150, Super Duty Production Ahead Of Schedule After Fire At Magnesium Parts Supplier
      Ford is resuming production of the F-150 pickup at Dearborn Truck Plant on Friday. Ford team has also successfully repaired the supply chain for Super Duty; production targeted to restart by Monday for Super Duty at Kentucky Truck Plant and F-150 at Kansas City Assembly Plant Ford marshaled a global team of experts, that included partners and suppliers, following a May 2 fire at Meridian Magnesium Products in Eaton Rapids, Mich., to quickly refurbish and relocate tooling needed to produce parts for the Ford F-150, Super Duty and five other vehicles – Ford Expedition, Explorer, Flex and Lincoln Navigator and MKT Because of this quick action, Meridian is producing truck parts again at its Eaton Rapids facility. Plus, Ford airlifted tooling to a Meridian facility in the U.K. to produce parts for F-150, which will further speed production ramp-up Ford Expedition, Explorer, Flex and Lincoln Navigator and MKT production continue uninterrupted Company reaffirms 2018 adjusted EPS guidance range of $1.45 to $1.70; expects adverse impact of $0.12 to $0.14 per share in second quarter due to lost production DEARBORN, Mich., May 16, 2018 – Ford Motor Company is restarting production of the popular F-150 at Dearborn Truck Plant Friday after just over one week of downtime. The company has also successfully repaired the supply chain for Super Duty, with production targeted to restart by Monday at the Kentucky Truck Plant as well as the Kansas City Assembly Plant that also makes F-150 pickups.
      This follows the massive May 2 fire at the Meridian Magnesium Products facility in Eaton Rapids, Mich.
      “While the situation remains extremely dynamic, our teams are focused on returning our plants to full production as fast as possible,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, Global Operations. “The ramp-up time to full production is improving every day.”
      Ford teams, together with suppliers including Walbridge and other contractors, worked nearly around the clock to get America’s best-selling vehicle franchise back on line as quickly as possible.
      The teams removed 19 dies from Meridian’s badly damaged facility, and in one case, moved an 87,000-pound die from Eaton Rapids, Mich., to Nottingham, U.K., via an Antonov cargo plane – one of the largest in the world – in just 30 hours door-to-door. A die is a tool used to cut or shape material using a press.
      “Faced with unexpected adversity, the Ford team, including our global supply partners, showed unbelievable resiliency, turning a devastating event into a shining example of teamwork,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s executive vice president of Product Development and Purchasing. “Thanks to their heroic efforts, we are resuming production of some of our most important vehicles ahead of our original targets.”
      Work started immediately in the aftermath of the May 2 fire. Teams removed and remediated safety concerns – including dangling siding – and restored electricity, gaining approval to access the site while debris still smoldered inside.
      This allowed Ford and Meridian to safely retrieve and relocate tools to more quickly resume part production and work to minimize the financial impact of the stalled plants.
      Ford recovered, repaired and validated most dies that were at the Eaton Rapids facility, and Meridian is now producing parts for the F-150 at two locations – Eaton Rapids and Nottingham, U.K. Production of bolsters for Super Duty is also restarting at the Eaton Rapids plant.
      Under normal circumstances, moving tooling the size of a bolster die would take approximately 10 days just to get the proper import and export approvals. However, Ford and its suppliers managed to cut the total time for the entire move to 30 hours, including trans-Atlantic flight time.
      When the team removed the die from the Eaton Rapids factory, it was shipped to Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio. Rickenbacker had both the capacity to handle such a large piece of equipment and allowed an Antonov An-124 Russian plane, one of the largest planes in the world – typically used to transport trains, dump trucks and even a 25-foot sea yacht – to take off as soon as the equipment was loaded.
      Nearly 4,000 miles away, a team in Nottingham was waiting to receive the die and take it to Meridian’s nearby factory. In between, the Ford team received a U.K. import license for the die – a mere two hours before the plane touched down.
      Parts produced at Nottingham are being shipped via daily flights on a Boeing 747 jet until production in Eaton Rapids returns to pre-fire levels.
      Inventories of Ford’s best-selling F-Series pickups and other vehicles remain strong and customers won’t have a problem finding the model they want.
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